Meet the Class of 2008
Craig Bobzien, Raytown South High School, Class of 1973
After graduating from Raytown South in 1973, Craig Bobzien earned a degree in Forest Science at Colorado State University, and after over thirty years in conservation and public service, he will join the Raytown Schools Alumni Hall of Fame in the Class of 2008.
During his career Bobzien has performed some special assignments as the Director of Fire and Aviation for the Northern Rockies Region and as Deputy Regional Forester for the Rocky Mountain Region. He also served as one of the principal negotiators for the National Forest Service management and union contract.
Bobzien is a thirty year member of the Society of American Foresters and a Certified Forester. In his role as a volunteer, Bobzien has served in leadership positions in not only conservation organizations, but also in civic, church, youth, and professional organizations.
Bobzien currently serves as the Forest Supervisor of the Black Hills National Forest located in western South Dakota and Wyoming. He oversees over 300 employees who specialize in wildlife, forestry, recreation, fire, engineering, public service administration, and natural resource science.
Among Bobzien’s honors are Community Grand Marshal and twice guiding his unit in receiving the Caring for Land and Water Award in both the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest Regions of the U.S. Forest Service. Bobzien has testified before the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on forest resource issues.
Bobzien is an avid outdoorsman, a love which began in his childhood. He enjoys fly-fishing, bird hunting, and riding horses. He and his wife Marilee have one daughter, Kayla, who is attending the University of Montana.
Robert "Tom" Butterfield, Raytown High School, Class of 1958
Robert Thomas “Tom” Butterfield, who passed away in 1982, was a 1958 graduate of Raytown High School and will be posthumously inducted into the Raytown Schools Alumni Hall of Fame with the Class of 2008.
A Reader’s Digest article about Tom Butterfield quotes his basic credo: “All a child needs is someone to love and be loved by.” Tom was the first single foster parent in the state of Missouri, and over the course of the next several years, Tom became a foster parent to many struggling youth. Others had been taken from their families because of abuse. Tom spent many years raising money by addressing clubs, churches and schools, and he sent letter upon letter to strangers. Eventually, money started to come in, and with sweat equity, Tom, the boys, and a number of volunteers shaped up his place in the country to become Butterfield Boys Ranch, and in 1977, the last of the renovations on residences was complete.
In December 1981 CBS television aired the Warner Brothers movie, “The Children Nobody Wanted” about Tom’s efforts to great acclaim.
Tom graduated in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Education from Missouri Valley College, earned a Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Missouri and was certified by the Academy of Certified Social Workers. His life’s work was providing alternatives for abused, neglected and emotionally troubled children.
Among Tom’s awards are membership in the Missouri Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame, a special award from the University of Missouri for outstanding dedication to Social Work, and four Presidential citations from John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. Additionally, President Bill Clinton gave Tom a posthumous award for service to mankind.
To this day, the mission of Butterfield Youth Services is to, “provide high quality out-of- home care and treatment for severely emotionally disturbed children and adolescents, and to provide or coordinate through networking with others a range of in-home services for severely emotionally disturbed children and adolescents who are at risk of removal from their homes”.
Donald W. Connelly, Raytown South High School, Class of 1968
From broadcaster, to producer, to programmer, to manager, to textbook writer, to professor, Donald Connelly is a true radio man. The only university professor in the United States to hold the certification of Radio Marketing Expert as accredited by the Radio Advertising Bureau, Connelly will now hold a place in the Raytown Schools Alumni Hall of Fame Class of 2008.
Connelly attended then Central Missouri State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters of Arts in Mass Communications. He served as Instructional Services Coordinator, and designed, produced, and coordinated radio programs for the university’s 100,000-watt public radio station.
Connelly was the Operations Director at KLDN-FM in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, and then served as General manager in Buffalo, Missouri; Eustis, Florida; Leesburg, Florida; and Ocala, Florida. In Orlando, Florida, Connelly served as an anchor, writer, and producer, and did freelance work for CBS Radio, New York, BBC World News Service, and BBC Belfast. With Florida’s Radio Network and Clear Channel Communications , he was the Affiliate Relations Director to over 80 affiliates.
He was a visiting professor of electronic media at Western Carolina University, where he taught and maintained Killian audio and video labs.
Currently, Connelly is the Director of Broadcasting and an Associate Professor of Communication at Western Carolina University. He was named the Department Head of the Department of Communication in August 2007. He is the author of the textbook, Digital Radio Production, published by McGraw-Hill Higher Education Division. Among his honors are the Award of Excellence from the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Film, Video, and Media Arts in 2007, and the Chancellor’s Meritorious Service to Students Award.
Connelly and his wife Debra have a daughter and son-in-law, Amanda and Mike Little , and a grandson, Nolan, from North Carolina.
Pamela M. (Riegel) Kircher, Raytown High School, Class of 1962
Nationally known as a speaker on end-of-life issues and near-death experiences, 1962 RHS graduate Pam Riegel Kircher will enter the Raytown Schools Alumni Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2008.
Dr. Kircher holds a degree in Zoology from the University of Missouri, completed graduate work in Experimental Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, and earned a medical degree from Baylor University College of Medicine. Following her residency in Family Practice at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas, she practiced as a family physician in Texas.
After serving as a hospice physician at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Dr. Kircher moved to Durango, Colorado. There she helped to develop the Integrative Care Department at Mercy Regional Medical Center, and she served as the medical director for six years.
In addition to working as a medical doctor, Kircher has served as a medical volunteer in Guatemala and Fiji, and is a Master Trainer in Tai Chi for Health programs. She is currently serving as the coordinator between the Tai Chi for Health programs and the Arthritis Foundation of America.
Dr. Kircher serves as a volunteer instructor at Fort Lewis College, and as a co-coordinator of the Pagosa Lifelong Learning program in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.
Among Dr. Kircher’s honors are Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Missouri, Outstanding Teaching of Residents in Family Practice at Texas Health Science Center, and Chief of Family Medicine at Memorial Southwest Hospital.
Pam and her husband Dr. Mark Kircher have three adult children, Michael, Robin, and Joany and two grandchildren, Max and Alex. They divide time between Durango, Colorado and their ranch in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.
Charles N. Stephens, Raytown High School, Class of 1958
Retired from teaching and coaching in 1998, Chuck Stephens’ winning ways and dedication to athletics, and in particular the sport of football, have earned him entrance into the Raytown Schools Alumni Hall of Fame’s Class of 2008.
After graduating from RHS in 1958, Stephens earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Missouri Valley College, a Masters in Physical Education from Indiana University, and a Specialist Degree in Physical Education from Central Missouri State University.
Stephens began coaching in Indiana, returned to Missouri to coach at Higginsville High School, Central Missouri State University, and Oak Grove High School, and then became Indiana’s most winning football coach of all time. At Franklin Central High School, Stephens compiled a record of 145 wins and 46 losses. His teams won the Indiana State Championship four times, three times in consecutive years. His teams were State Champion runners-up three times, Semi-State Champions seven times, Regional Champions seven times, and Sectional Champions eight times. Stephens’ teams were Conference Champions five times.
Stephens is a member of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame and the Missouri Valley Athletic Hall of Fame. He has received Coach of the Year honors from the Indiana High School Coaches Association, the Central Suburban Athletic Conference, The Indianapolis News, and The Bloomington Herald. The City of Indianapolis honored him with Coach Chuck Stephens Day, and Indiana Governor Evan Bayh bestowed the Distinguished Hoosier Award on Stephens in 1992. Stephens is the Executive Director of the Flashes Football Foundation, which provides scholarships for senior players and supports all levels of Flashes Football.
Stephens‘ son Charlie is married to Mitzi, and they have a daughter Julianne, born in 2008. His daughter Michelle is married to John. Chuck’s wife Tina has two sons, Neil and Ryan.
Sebron "C.B" Toney, Raytown High School, Class of 1983
Having traveled to over 100 countries, RHS 1983 graduate Sebron “CB” Toneynow travels into the Raytown Schools Alumni Hall of Fame Class of 2008. Toney holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Central Missouri State University, a Masters of Arts in Management and Human Resources from Marymount University, and
a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
Toney is currently with the United States Department of State as the Deputy Principal Officer at the American Consulate General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Serving at the American Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan as the Provincial Reconstruction Team Management Officer, Toney provided assistance to Afghan governments and coordinated support efforts with U..S led Coalition Forces. Toney has served in Iraq, Senegal, and Brazil as a Human Resources Officer, and was responsible for the re-establishment of embassy operations. Toney served as a Diplomatic Courier, responsible for the safe and secure movement of diplomatic pouches throughout the world, and worked in the State Department Operations Center, facilitating communication.
Toney provided protection services for two Secretaries of State, and for Nelson Mandela. In his Diplomatic Security role, he was responsible for investigating passport and visa fraud, and provided security and law enforcement at U.S. missions, embassies and consular posts.
Toney served as a staffer for Congressman Alan Wheat, and as an intern in Jefferson City. His awards and honors include Meritorious Honor Awards and Superior Honor Awards given to individuals in recognition of a special act or service or sustained extraordinary performance covering a period of one year or longer.
Toney’s interests include the International Wine Society, Traveler’s Century Club, and being a Friend of the Kennedy Center.